Tencent's value plunges by $60 billion after China calls online games 'electronic drugs'

midian182

Posts: 7,157   +64
Staff member
What just happened? The Chinese government has never had the most positive view of video games, to say the least, but its latest criticism of online titles was so severe—branding them "electronic drugs"—it sent Tencent and NetEase shares falling more than 10%. It's also led to Tencent introducing restrictions for minors.

In an article on Tuesday, the state-run Economic Information Daily said many teenagers were now addicted to online games, and they were having a negative effect on the youngsters. It also called for more restrictions. The outlet is affiliated with China's biggest state-run news agency, Xinhua.

Tencent's hugely popular Honor of Kings was cited in the article. As of November 2020, it has over 100 million daily active players. The outlet writes that many users spend eight hours or more playing the game every day.

"No industry, no sport, can be allowed to develop in a way that will destroy a generation," it stated, comparing online games to "spiritual opium worth hundreds of billions."

Tencent's shares fell more than 10% in morning trade, wiping almost $60 billion from its market cap, writes Reuters. NetEase shares were down 15.7%, and game developer XD Inc and mobile gaming firm GMGE Technology Group Ltd also saw their shares plummet. China's video games market was worth $43.1 billion in 2020

Tencent in a social media post said it was introducing measures to cap the number of hours minors spend on Honor of Kings after "relevant authorities" requested greater protections for younger players and for companies to carry out their "societal responsibility." Additionally, those under 12 will be prohibited from in-game spending, and there will be more efforts to prevent minors from using adult accounts. The company said it plans to roll out the restrictions to all of its games eventually.

Image credit: pandaily.com

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Eldritch

Posts: 348   +552
I know a person whose son spent huge amounts without his knowledge on several IAP. They raised complaint and recovered barely a fraction. This is a real problem and no, it's not possible to hide your mobile from your kids and having your card number+mobile means virtually full access to your funds these days.

I hate to say this but maybe, just maybe, China is right for once.
 

poohbear

Posts: 647   +557
China is right, but the “relevant authorities” are parents.
This right here. So many parents shouldn't have had kids if they don't care to spend quality time with them! Giving their children tablets/phones is the easiest way to keep them busy. Addictions are NOT about the drug/addictions, they are about the addict not having a meaningful social community or social connections with the people around them.
 

Aceseven

Posts: 93   +156
China, has a point.

so many games now are being built specifically so they hook into a person and keep them coming back every day to chase a digital dragon.

and it isn't just kids who are caught in this, adults also get stuck in the loop.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
China is right. But a lot of experiences are like drugs. I used to surf a lot in my early 20s because the rush you get when you catch a wave feels great. This is like drugs. When I studied media studies in college (I know waste of time) you learn about the “hypodermic needle theory” within the media. So movies are like drugs.

Everything is drugs. The only things that aren’t are things that don’t have a mental effect. So I guess staring at a wall isn’t drugs.
 

Aceseven

Posts: 93   +156
China is right. But a lot of experiences are like drugs. I used to surf a lot in my early 20s because the rush you get when you catch a wave feels great. This is like drugs. When I studied media studies in college (I know waste of time) you learn about the “hypodermic needle theory” within the media. So movies are like drugs.

Everything is drugs. The only things that aren’t are things that don’t have a mental effect. So I guess staring at a wall isn’t drugs.
I see your reasoning but not everything is a drug, I like driving but I dont get a high from it, same as cooking or just reading a book.

but some games and especially mobile ones could be in the drug camp, they're just quick fixes built to make someone burn a lil cash here, burn a bit there for a maybe better fighter or whatever it is the game is peddling.

I've been gaming my entire life but if someone(even if it's china sadly) wants to put the clamps on mobile gaming and the effed up practices it has let loose then I'll let them go with it.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
I see your reasoning but not everything is a drug, I like driving but I dont get a high from it, same as cooking or just reading a book.

but some games and especially mobile ones could be in the drug camp, they're just quick fixes built to make someone burn a lil cash here, burn a bit there for a maybe better fighter or whatever it is the game is peddling.

I've been gaming my entire life but if someone(even if it's china sadly) wants to put the clamps on mobile gaming and the effed up practices it has let loose then I'll let them go with it.
Well, all games provide mental rewards. And the very best of those games cause you to be addicted to them. Sure mobile games suck in the general public with the goal to extract money from them. But to seasoned gamers like you or me the same thing happens to us from aaa games devs etc. When they finally launch a new elder scrolls people like you and me will pay for it and spend hundreds of hours playing it. The dev will make millions. The only difference is most users will buy it once and not pour more and more money after it. Although that being said I bought Skyrim on three platforms!

But the same things are happening here. Electronic influences your mind to feel good, we get addicted. If driving releases endorphins then it’s kinda the same, except that you aren’t paying someone over and over to get It.

My biggest hobby is scuba diving. And that goes one step further than any “electronic drug” as there is a tangible chemical effect on my brain from breathing air under pressure (look up nitrogen narcosis). I pay thousands to dive and dive shops do their best to entice you back. Is that not worse?
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,722   +4,257
I know a person whose son spent huge amounts without his knowledge on several IAP. They raised complaint and recovered barely a fraction. This is a real problem and no, it's not possible to hide your mobile from your kids and having your card number+mobile means virtually full access to your funds these days.

I hate to say this but maybe, just maybe, China is right for once.
LOL at thinking china is right because parents are lazy. If you cant figure out how to prevent your kids from spending money from YOUR CC, you are too irresponsible to have either a child or a CC.

Child accounts exist. Passwords exist. If you really have such a major issue then DONT PUT A CC ON THE ACCOUNT YOU LET YOUR KID USE. If your kid is that invested in a smart device get them their own without any sort of payment on it. It's REALLY not that hard to do, but parents are lazy and incompetent.

And if you cant prevent your phone from being in your kids hands, again this is a discipline problem combined with a lazy parent. Stop giving your kids your phone, punish them if they steal it. Why is that so hard?
 

BadThad

Posts: 646   +696
The communists taking control of their masses once again. Games are NOT drugs, they are games for entertainment. If kids are playing too much, it's on the PARENTS to control, not the evil, communist state. The CCP is the enemy of the world!
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
The communists taking control of their masses once again. Games are NOT drugs, they are games for entertainment. If kids are playing too much, it's on the PARENTS to control, not the evil, communist state. The CCP is the enemy of the world!
Tbh with the level of censorship, lockdowns and forced mask wearing etc we currently have in the west we aren’t in much of a position to call the Chinese out.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 546   +394
Regular sports in competitive setting turn people into adrenaline addicts with enlarged hearts and after 30 years, ruined joints. So what?!
Jeez...
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 554   +426
I think folks tried to get gaming into the big fat American Psychology books of disorders

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders it didn't pass the grade.


In the DSM-5, five of the nine diagnosis criteria (preoccupation or obsession, withdrawal, tolerance, loss of control, loss of interest, continued overuse, deceiving, escape of negative feelings, functional impairment) must be met within a year to be diagnosed .......

Elvis was an addiction
End of the day most people are passionate about things - most sometimes go to far to detriment of other areas of their lives . Most self correct.

If adult and not hurting others - why should we care.

Saying that - the loot boxes the way games play , the algorithms of facebook are like food manufactures mixing the right levels of fat/sugar umami ( also good as makes the eater think there is protein - when there is none - so they keep eating to get their protein fix ) . Given that most people are bad at calculating the odds on certain types of payback - their is a good case to regulate loot boxes aimed at kids .
I hate alcohol pops - with their garish colours and lurid names - the manufacturers say they are targeting people in their twenties - yeah right - same as that US vapor company - I think Juul- targeting kids with their flavours .

I'd rather my kid was passionate than apathetic - we are on here as we like computer tech .
I get HiFi News out of the library to read - even though I think most of the high end systems are a waste of money. We can snobbily say we are one level up from the likes of Stuff magazine- a glorification of consumerism tech
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 968   +393
Wait.....so.....dont the Chinese own most of Epic Games these days? And they've been giving games away for free every week for about a year now.....so.....I'm confused. Either the Chinese are trying to dumb down American children because these freebies aren't offered in China or the CCP thinks giving 2 free games away every week is okay? Bizzare.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 218   +151
Alleged generational harm caused by online games doesn't really compare to the CCP. For that to happen devs need to develop games that oppress, kill, incarcerate, starve, regiment, and brainwash tens of millions of Chinese citizens.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 342   +341
This right here. So many parents shouldn't have had kids if they don't care to spend quality time with them! Giving their children tablets/phones is the easiest way to keep them busy. Addictions are NOT about the drug/addictions, they are about the addict not having a meaningful social community or social connections with the people around them.

Everyone knows this, but encouraging children to have a meaningful social community and social connections isn't always easy either, especially when their peers are all on the internet too, amongst other things. But as parents we do our best. Our children aren't often given tablets and phones, but they take them a lot!

Do you have children? Believe me, it isn't as easy as it looks.
 
I am a mobile gamer, and let me tell you - those games are amazingly well designed at being addictive, you loose track of everything, and you keep spending at 10$, 20$ daily, sometimes more weekly, then paycheck so you buy smth for 100$ and bam...5k gone in month.
My point being: yes, protect children, but dont forget about adults, they get addicted too! Everyone in my guild are adults to my knowledge, and they all spent much more than they wished too.
Honestly, id like to see a cap on how much you can spend on game per month, that would actually also help gameplay